Access Control Policy

What Is Access Control Policy?

An access control policy is a data security technique that creates a unified system for controlling access to organizational data, applications, and systems. Physical access control allows IT to secure hardware, and logical control helps protect the software and data. An active access control policy minimizes cybersecurity risks to an organization by governing who has access to which systems, how they can access them, and authentication rules and requirements. 

The sprawling nature of cloud-based and hybrid cloud implementations has created numerous access control challenges. It can be difficult to keep track of evolving assets that are spread out physically and across different layers of data. The access control strategies that worked well in traditional environments where an organization’s data and devices were on-premises are ineffective in dispersed IT ecosystems. 

Why Is Access Control Policy Important?

Limiting access to sensitive business data via access control policies gives organizations complete control over their resources. It allows workers access to the information they need and keeps everyone else out. Since 61 percent of cyberattacks in 2021 involved stolen credentials, it’s essential for organizations to develop robust authorization systems that can monitor user access and movement within a system. 

Access Control Policy Types

In the past, IT teams were tasked with manually monitoring and evaluating user access profiles. This was extremely tedious, unproductive, and a waste of time. The distributed nature of cloud implementations makes it impossible to handle a massive number of requests by hand, and most organizations create access control policies incorporating machine learning tools. 

There are a few main types of access control policies that incorporate AI to help protect users and data.

  • Attribute-based access control defines access based on Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies.
  • Discretionary access control allows the data owner to decide on access control based on specific rules. 
  • Mandatory access control is based on individuals and the resources they can access.
  • Role-based access control gives users access based on their role.
  • Break-glass access control incorporates an emergency account that can bypass regular permissions. 
  • Rule-based access control allows administrators to define the rules governing data access and resources. 

What to Include in an Access Control Policy

Here are some tips on what you should include in your organization’s access control policy.

  • Rules for collaborating with third parties and outside vendors
  • Risk-based authentication
  • Zero Trust Network Access
  • Operating system controls
  • Number of login attempts allowed before a user is locked out
  • Threat intelligence monitoring
  • Addressing non-company devices and personal equipment used for business
  • Multi-factor authentication
  • Continuous access monitoring
  • Which users and identities are permitted to view or edit certain data, applications, and other files

While many implement AI tools to reduce costs, 30 percent of organizations use AI to improve the speed and accuracy of internal processing automation for data, user behaviors, and more. A great access control policy will also include information on the types of machine learning tools in place. 

Access Control Policy Template

The UK Ministry of Justice has created an access control policy template (PDF) that you can download and adjust to meet your organization’s needs. 

CylanceGATEWAY™ is AI-empowered Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA). It allows your remote workforce to establish secure network connectivity from any device—managed or unmanaged—to any app in the cloud or on premises, across any network. This cloud-native ZTNA solution provides scalable outbound-only access to any application while hiding critical assets from unauthorized users—minimizing attack surface areas.

The multi-tenant architecture of CylanceGATEWAY is designed for digital transformation and distributed work. Its powerful AI and machine learning improve your security posture and simplify the configuration and management of granular, dynamic security policies and access controls.